Volume 95, Issue 17

Friday, September 28, 2001
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About the Gazette


Gazette Alumni speak

A story behind the stories

History in print

The UBC prank: breaking and entering

Champagne with an old friend

From Pam to Parliament Hill and beyond

Tories, snow and free beer

An anti-country club

Getting sauced

The UBC prank: breaking and entering

Brendan Howe

Then: Editor-in-Chief 1998- 1999

Now: Editor-in-Chief and Operations Manager The Sofia Echo, Bulgaria's English-language newspaper

I would have to say my most memorable Gazette moment came on the other side of the country. It was in the final days of my years at the paper, but was a prank that I'm told is now immortalized in the office.

A group of hard-working Gazetters travelled to Vancouver a couple years ago to expand our already vast knowledge of the world of journalism. The Canadian Association of Journalists was hosting a conference there and, while it was towards the end of my term as Editor-in-Chief, I thought I'd tag along with the newly-elected crew to make sure they didn't get into any trouble.

As we were very budget conscious (i.e. the cheap bastards at the USC wouldn't give us much money), we made sure we didn't incur too many extravagant expenses. We rode our bikes to Vancouver, slept on the beach by the university and begged for money for food.

Our signs of "Feel sorry for us, we work for student politicians" were very well-received and we managed to gather together just enough money to pay the registration fee for the conference. And then we learned some stuff, met some people, pissed off some others by acting cocky – you know how it is.

But anyway, on to the important stuff. After a strenuous 14-hour day of seminars, lectures and people massaging their egos, we decided to do a little sightseeing.

So off we went to visit the prestigious University of British Columbia. Ducking clouds of marijuana smoke throughout the campus, we managed to find the student council building and visit the office of UBC's student newspaper, the something. I can't remember the name, but it's a crap newspaper so it doesn't matter.

We were amazed at what we found. Their office was five times larger than The Gazette's, all their computers were brand new and they had four espresso machines, personal coffee makers for each staff member and a state-of-the art climate control system. They even had windows in their office.

With all this sophisticated machinery, however, they had a quite primitive security system. A small box on the door contained the key to get into the office. Probably thinking of us, some kind soul had left the key in that box and not locked it. We took that as an invitation for a self-guided tour.

We, of course, took the opportunity to make sure our visit was not disguised, leaving messages here and there, disconnecting a computer or two and other friendly actions. We enjoyed our tour so much that we decided to take a souvenir with us – the key to their office. We later learned that it was the only key to the office that they had.

Visitors to The Gazette these days will find the key, in a plaque, with a message written underneath, the same message we wrote on the chalk board in their office: "The Gazette, breaking and entering since 1906."

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Copyright The Gazette 2001